[[quoteright:300:[[VideoGame/PunchOut http://static.tvtropes.org/pmwiki/pub/images/vodka_5695.png]]]]
[-[[caption-width-right:300:"I can't drive, so I'm going to walk all over you!"]]-]

->''"Drink is the joy of the Rus.[[note]]'Rus' can refer to either Ukrainians, Russians or both.[[/note]]"''
-->-- '''St. Vladimir the Great'''

GloriousMotherRussia. Supposedly, it's the coldest place on the planet, and really depressing. The obvious solution to this problem? Booze. Copious, even {{egregious}} amounts of booze. ([[TVTropesWikiDrinkingGame Drink up!]]) So much, in fact, that there's a good chance a Russian character on television will be an alcoholic, or at least will look for the slightest excuse to find somebody to go get drunk with.

Somewhat TruthInTelevision; alcoholism is a rather large problem in Russia and is a major contributor to high suicide rates and lowered average male lifespan[[note]]which is ''so bad'' at this point that it's the lowest of any industrialized nation, though there's a lot more to that than booze[[/note]]. Vodka sales are also a prime source of revenue for the Russian government going as far back as the days of TsaristRussia. Many bottles of cheap vodka in Russia come with a paper pull tab rather than a screw-top because, like its owner, it's going to be drunk in one sitting. In fact, ''aftershave'' is marketed in recycled vodka flasks so people don't look cheap while drinking it. They tend to see green imps rather than PinkElephants.

Also, this trope is sometimes extended to people in former Warsaw Pact countries, partly as a result of cultural osmosis and partly because [[DrowningMySorrows life just sucked that much.]]

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!!Examples:

[[foldercontrol]]

[[folder: Anime and Manga ]]

* ''Webcomic/AxisPowersHetalia'' was bound to feature this seeing as its premise calls for spoofing NationalStereotypes. Vodka is to [[NationsAsPeople Russia]] as [[CatchPhrase "Pastaaaa~!"]] is to Italy. In his introduction alone, Russia states that vodka is his fuel.
* It's probably not coincidental that the drunken Hei at the beginning of season 2 of ''DarkerThanBlack'' was stationed in Russia.
* In ''YugoTheNegotiator'', Yugo is very quick to recognize the vodka gesture while on a train during the Russia arc. Drinking quickly ensues.
* General White from DragonBall is heavily implied to be of Russian origin, and sure enough, he spends a lot of his time drinking a substance that's presumably vodka.
* Mikhail "Misha" Kaminsky, one of the members of the zeonic Cyclops Team in ''Anime/MobileSuitGundam0080WarInThePocket'', is a [[HuskyRusskie big and burly]] russian who always carries a flask of booze with him in his mobile suit's cockpit during missions. [[spoiler:It's what we see in a GoryDiscretionShot, flailing around when the Gundam Alex's chaingun fils the Kampfer with holes, pulverizing Misha in the process.]]

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[[folder: Comic Books ]]

* When ComicBook/TheBoys go to Russia, they stay with a Russian ex-superhero who drinks some unholy abomination home-made liquid that no one (but Hughie) drinks- they just toss it back over their shoulders. We later learn it's ''not'' vodka, it's made with, among others, ''tank brake fluid''. And Hughie grows to ''like'' the stuff.
* When ''LuckyLuke'' is the bodyguard of a Russian grand Duke, said ambassador likes to shout "Fedia! Vodka!" and "Fredia! Visky!".
* Alex "Spaceman" Glushko in ''TopTen'' is a former cosmonaut and special interrogator for the eponymous police department. He drinks, a lot - which is a problem for his co-workers since he mainly communicates telepathically, meaning they get his headache, too.

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[[folder: Film ]]

* In ''DoctorStrangelove'', we only hear President Muffley's side of the conversation with Soviet Premier Kisov, but even without the ambassador's word on the matter it's fairly obvious that Kisov is sloshed.
* Ivan Vanko in ''Film/IronMan 2'' is very fond of his vodka. Even the burd loves vodka. His father wasn't so alcoholic until he [[spoiler:was forced out of the US by Howard Stark for trying to profit off the Arc Reactor research]]. After that he turned to alcohol to numb the pain of being forced to live out his days in Siberia and died a drunken mess.
* The Russians acknowledge the stereotype as well. Case in point, the ''PeculiaritiesOfTheNationalHunt'', a film where a group of men (all of which as Russian except for a young Finnish man studying Russian customs) go hunting, only to spend several days mostly drinking. One of the men is an army general, so when the hunting party forgets several crates of vodka, his men have them airlifted via helicopter. The Finnish guy even asks his friend when they're actually going to to hunt something. An interesting twist is that the Finnish man keeps dreaming of an old-fashioned Tsarist hunt, involving dogs, horses, and dozens of men, who, despite also drinking, actually do hunt. Rather ironic considering that Finns are also stereotyped as heavy drinkers - sometimes by the Russians themselves. The film was followed by three other ''Peculiarities of the National...'' films. The second film involved fishing, the third had another hunt, and the fourth was about politics. All of which, naturally, involve a lot of drinking.
* Another example from Russia/the Soviet Union is 1980's ''Film/MoscowDoesNotBelieveInTears''. Gurin the hockey player is a teetotaler in 1958, but after the 20-year TimeSkip he's a raging alcoholic. His wife blames his alcoholism on all the hockey fans that kept foisting drinks on him.
* ''Film/TheIronyOfFate'' is a Russian romantic comedy from 1976 in which this is crucial to the plot. Zhenya goes out celebrating with his friends after getting engaged. Zhenya's friend Pavlik has to catch a plane, so they take the party to the airport, but everyone gets so drunk that a passed-out Zhenya gets put on the plane instead. After it lands he's too drunk to realize that he's taken a taxi home to the wrong apartment in the wrong city. Hilarity and romance ensue when the woman who lives there comes home.
* In ''Film/BadBoys'' 2 members of TheMafiya meet up with the movie's BigBad and get presented with their deceased colleague ([[{{Squick}} in a bucket]]). Later on, when [[Creator/WillSmith Mike]] and [[Creator/MartinLawrence Marcus]] assault the mansion, Igor shows up as well absolutely fucking ''wasted'' calling himself the "Russian Grim Reaper of [[DepartmentOfRedundancyDepartment Death]]" and proceeds to lay waste to half of the mansion's illegal drug traffickers himself before [[SuicideByCop trying to outdraw a peloton of SWAT team members who tell him to lay down his arms]].

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[[folder: Literature ]]

* In the novels featuring the Russian Investigator Arkady Renko, ''Gorky Park'', ''Polar Star'', ''Red Square'', ''Havana Bay'', ''Wolves Eat Dogs'' and ''Stalin's Ghost'', Russia is pretty much shown as a place where everyone drinks [[EverybodySmokes and smokes]]. Constantly. In fact, when Renko is [[LockedInAFreezer locked inside a storage freezer]] by a bad guy and almost freezes to death, everybody simply assumes he accidentally locked himself in there while trying to get high on gasoline fumes.
* From the ''Literature/JackRyan'' series:
** Colonel Filitov from ''The Cardinal of the Kremlin'' is seen drinking almost every time he appears in one of the books, and mentions that "he wouldn't have gotten sick if he'd had a little more antifreeze." Much of that drinking is [[DrowningMySorrows to try to forget about his dead family]], whose deaths were part of what drove him to [[spoiler:become TheMole for the {{CIA}}.]]
** A lot of other Russian characters in the series are also often seen drinking (with vodka being the tipple of choice), though most of them usually aren't drunk.
** Alcoholism is a plot-relevant off-"screen" detail in ''Literature/TheHuntForRedOctober'': The wife of the renegade submarine captain Ramius died of complications from appendicitis. The doctor that was to perform the surgery was drunk, and while breathing pure oxygen to try to sober up her appendix burst. The still-inebriated doctor fumbled the surgery to remove the burst organ, resulting in the death of the wife of Ramius. Ramius' dissatisfaction with the Soviet state started at this point, when the surgeon wasn't punished [[ScrewTheRulesIHaveConnections because he was the son of a high-ranking party official]]. [[note]]Some people have complained that the captain of a Soviet ballistic missile submarine had ''considerable'' political clout, but the book ''was'' written decades before the Iron Curtain came down.[[/note]]
* ''Literature/VorkosiganSaga'': Barrayar, which is at least to some extent Russia {{IN SPACE}}, has "getting drunk" as one of the great traditions.
* ''Literature/MoscowPetushki''. While many Russian writers try to subvert or avert this one-dimensional stereotype, Venedikt Yerofeyev, who [[AuthorAvatar modelled the protagonist after himself]], plays it painfully straight, [[CrapsackWorld and with good reasons]]. Although ''vodka'' was not the protagonist's main tipple. What he usually drank was worse--in some cases, possibly even dangerous. Although all of the recipes in the book should be essentially harmless--''if'' you consider drinks with over 50% alcohol harmless.
* ''The Bridge to Holy Cross'' by Paullina Simons. The female protagonist, a former Russian nurse who's come to the United States, is going to travel with a Red Cross team into the Soviet Zone in [[WW2 now-conquered Germany]]. Her superior complains about the amount of booze she's packed.
-->"Have you ever met Russians before?"
-->"No..."
-->"Trust me, we will need the vodka."
* ''Literature/ThePrimaryChronicle'', a Russian historical account written in the eleventh and twelfth centuries, includes the statement, "It is the Russians' joy to drink; we cannot do without it."
* One novel about the USSR's mental health institutions had several doctors joking about the state of their nation. One claimed that Russia had achieved Communism. Another stated they were still practicing Socialism. A third claimed that they were backsliding into Capitalism. A fourth stated that the true state of Russia was Alcoholism.
* {{Animorphs}}: During one mission to prevent the Yeerks invading a world summit, Rachel (in elephant morph) crashes into a world leader's room, sitting in his underwear and drunk out of his mind. She doesn't name him, but one of the leaders is Russian.

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[[folder: Live Action TV ]]

* In one ''Series/MamasFamily'' episode, the family briefly hosts a Russian exchangee, Olga. While playing the board game version of {{Pyramid}}, Mama is describing items to take to the beach to Olga. This is Olga's reply to the clue for suntan lotion:
--> ''Olga'': Vodka.
--> ''Mama'': VODKA?! Who the hell takes vodka to the beach?!
--> ''Olga'': EVERYBODY!
* Some CulturalPosturing on ''Series/StarTrekTheOriginalSeries'':
--> '''Scotty''': When are you going to get off that milk diet, lad?
--> '''Chekov''': This is vodka!
--> '''Scotty''': Where I come from, that's soda pop. Now this is a drink for a man.
--> '''Chekov''': ''Scotch?!''
--> '''Scotty''': Aye.
--> '''Chekov''': It was inwented by a little old lady from [[TheGreatPoliticsMessUp Leningrad]].
* ''{{SCTV}}'' had an episode constantly being hacked by Soviet TV - an ad for vodka, that played like a Western beer commercial, shows a model worker relaxing at a bar with his friends after his shift, but as a responsible citizen of the State, he quits after one drink, in contrast to "the decadent Uzbeks", seen in a boorish, drunken daze. This is one of several examples seen of Uzbeks being held up as state-sanctioned AcceptableTargets.
* A ''Series/SaturdayNightLive'' skit from the year 2000 featured UsefulNotes/BillClinton (played by Darrell Hammond) having a SplitScreenPhoneCall with UsefulNotes/VladimirPutin (played by Creator/WillFerrell), who had just taken over for Boris Yeltsin at the time. Putin mentions that he's getting rid of some of Yeltsin's things. Cut to a wide shot revealing that Putin is packing away countless alcohol bottles.
* [[http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=JHQqJDBjfSM This glorious performance]] from a Russian talent show.

[[/folder]]

[[folder: Music ]]

* The chorus to the English version of Music/DschinghisKhan's ''[[http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=4_C0lq4rOf4 Moskau]]'' gives us:
--> Moscow, Moscow, throw your glasses at the wall, And good fortune to us all, ho-ho-ho-ho-ho, hey!
--> Moscow, Moscow, join us for a casatchok[[note]]A traditional Ukranian folk dance[[/note]], We'll go dancing round the clock, ha-ha-ha-ha-ha, hey!
--> Moscow, Moscow, drinking Vodka all night long, Keeps you happy, makes you strong, ho-ho-ho-ho-ho, hey!
--> Moscow, Moscow, come and have a drink and then, You will never leave again, ha-ha-ha-ha-ha!
* The epic ''[[Music/PigWithTheFaceOfABoy Complete History Of The Soviet Union, Arranged To The Melody Of Tetris]]'' confirms that "The U.S. gave us crystal meth, and Yeltsin drank himself to death".
* "[[http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=RNd1DLFlVrY Vodka]]", by the Finnish band {{Korpiklaani}} (here featuring the cast of {{Touhou}}.
* LITTLE BIG's "[[http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=QrU1hZxSEXQ Everyday I'm Drinking]]".

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[[folder: Newspaper Comics ]]

* The Russian bear is often drinking something topical in political cartoons.

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[[folder: Tabletop Games ]]

* In the drinking/card game [[{{TabletopGame/DrunkQuest}} DrunkQuest]] the warrior class has an ushanka, uses a sickle as a weapon and has a preference for vodka.

[[/folder]]

[[folder: Video Games ]]

* {{Trope Namer|s}}: True to the ongoing theme in ''VideoGame/PunchOut'' of boxers based on absurd stereotypes, Russian combatant Vodka Drunkenski followed this trope to the letter -- in the arcade version. The NES version {{Bowdlerise}}d his name to [[FrothyMugsOfWater Soda Popinski]], but all his taunts still make obvious references to alcohol and drunkenness. When not boxing, he spent his time between rounds suckling a [[FrothyMugsOfWater soda bottle]] and making puns about being punch-drunk or unable to drive. In the Wii game, soda really is the focus of his obsession. He fizzes and bubbles when punched. There are still some hints at being a drunkard: When taking out his bottle, he says "За моё здоровье!" (''Za moyo zdorove!'') which is Russian for "For my health!" (a common alcohol toast line), and if the player knocks away his bottle, he'll say "Моя бутылка!" (''Moya butylka!''), meaning "My bottle!" and fly into a rage and attempt to beat Little Mac up using his Soda Fury technique. Incidentally, the toast may be a bit of LeaningOnTheFourthWall, because it [[HyperactiveMetabolism really does recover his health]].
* ''Franchise/MetalGear'':
** Granin from ''VideoGame/MetalGearSolid3''. The game even takes place in the USSR, so it's not as though this was the one Russian character in the cast. ''[=MGS3=]'' fanfic tends to portray everyone at Groznyj Grad like this.
** In ''VideoGame/MetalGearSolidPortableOps'', we have Colonel Skowronski, the former commander of the San Hieronymo Soviet Missile Base, who is heavily implied to be drunk in his appearance (he was slurring his words a lot of the time, laughing at seemingly inappropriate times, and Roy Campbell refers to him as a drunk when he calls you right after you locate him). Actually, several of the soldiers on the San Hieronymo Peninsula were implied to drink a lot (one of the calls to Para-Medic, should she be recruited, has her beign confused about why they were having headaches at the height they are at as the mountains shouldn't be high enough to cause altitude sickness, until she realizes that they actually had amplified hangovers from drinking too much alcohol at the height they currently were at). It's probably justifiable that they did so, considering the fact that their nation essentially screwed them over by abandoning them at the peninsula shortly after they abandoned the construction plans in order to make it seem as though they were RenegadeRussians.
* Nikolai Belinski from ''CallOfDuty World at War'''s NaziZombies mode. Every quote he says basically refers to vodka and getting drunk in some way. In fact, he actually can't function without vodka, or a "vodka-based serum".
* Averted in ''VideoGame/TeamFortress2''. The [[HuskyRusskie Massive Russian Heavy Weapons Guy]]? Nothing passes his lips but [[TrademarkFavoriteFood Sand]][[SatiatingSandwich viches.]] The team alcoholic? [[ViolentGlaswegian The Scottish Demoman]]. It must be said, though, that that the Scots are one of very, very few cultures who might conceivably hold their own in a drinking game with the Russians.
** [[VideoGame/PokerNightAtTheInventory Heavy does favor a Peach Bellini]], and is sensitive to both alcohol and carbonation.
* In ''{{Mercenaries}} 2'', we have Misha, whose alcoholism is arguably justified by his being a jet-flying DrunkenMaster.
--> '''Misha''': Some people call me a stereotype. Have no stereo, can't type. SO THERE!
* Fortune teller Kalderasha in ''VideoGame/DragonQuestVIII'', after losing his crystal ball.
* Randall Lovikov from ''VideoGame/NoMoreHeroes''.
* ''VideoGame/{{STALKER}}'':
** ''Shadow Of Chernobyl'' features this trope rather blatantly. The game is set in the former USSR (the Chernobyl exclusion zone in Ukraine/Belarus to be exact) and if the player's radiation meter gets too high, [[BoozeBasedBuff vodka of all things can be used as a cheap means to rid the body of radiation]]. Also, while vodka [[InterfaceScrew causes the screen to sway and flash white]], there is actually no limit to how much your Slavic character can drink. In other words, it is fully possible to load up on over ''one hundred bottles of vodka'', drink them all within ''ten seconds'', and somehow come out of it with no more than a very wobbly screen and repeated flashes of white. After about a minute, the wobbling comes to an abrupt halt and [[SuddenlySober you'll be perfectly fine]].
** Serious intoxication is almost bound to happen in the first game - at one point, you have to raid a bandit base ([[OneManArmy alone]], to boot) to get a key to a nearby underground lab off their leader and if you poke around in the right area can raid their armory. There's nothing too staggeringly awesome in there - they're bandits, not [[WellIntentionedExtremist Duty]] or the [[BrainwashedAndCrazy Monolith]] - but if you look in the right box you can find almost thirty bottles of vodka. You have a weight limit of fifty kilograms (of which you'll probably be carrying at least thirty or forty in armor, guns, ammo, medical supplies, food, artifacts, and stuff you looted from the corpses of the bandits you just killed), a bottle of vodka weighs half a kilo apiece, and chances are you'll never be through this area again. [[HilarityEnsues Drunkenness (and possibly drunken gunfighting) ensues.]]
** In ''Call of Pripyat'', the mechanic in the first area cannot make modifications to your equipment without vodka, even if he has the tools. One drink is a small discount and first tier upgrades, two drinks is a higher discount and all upgrades... and three drinks puts him to sleep for a few hours. He claims it helps him keep his hands steady. May be [[DrowningMySorrows Drowning His Sorrows]] over lost friends, too. It crosses over into DrunkenMaster, although if you find and bring him the [=PDAs=] of his buddies [[spoiler: and show him the Gauss Rifle, which he worked on in the past]], he gets over his alcoholism and joins up with the other technician after the game ends.
** Subverted in the same game; vodka for some reason depletes your nourishment level and [[DeathByGluttony drinking at least six bottles of vodka can actually kill you]]. Yet this is also amusingly double subverted if you have at least a loaf of bread or other piece of food in your bag as you can munch it up and keep on drinking then rinse-wash-repeat.
* Grigori the informant from ''AlphaProtocol''. Thorton can even mock him by smashing a bottle over his head and saying he spilled his [[FunetikAksent wodka]].
* In the ''VideoGame/{{Tropico}}'' games, being an Alcoholic gives a boost to USSR relations.
* ''Metro2033'' takes place AfterTheEnd in and around the Moscow subway system. Since the agricultural infrastructure of the world has been destroyed by nuclear war, their vodka is made from mushrooms.
* While Zangief from StreetFighter goes for [[HuskyRusskie the OTHER]] huge Russian stereotype, if you look closely at his home stage in either ''SF II'' or ''Super SFII'' you will immeidately notice that at least two people in the crowds are chugging down on bottles of what seems to be vodka.
* Dukov in ''VideoGame/{{Fallout 3}}''.

[[/folder]]

[[folder: Web Animation ]]

* The Russian sailors in ''AdventuresOfThePuffincat'' very much enjoy drinking. The Puffincat tries to join them, [[FailureIsTheOnlyOption but fails as usual.]]

[[/folder]]

[[folder: Web Comics ]]

* Dmitri from ''{{Spacetrawler}}''.
* Russiaball from the [[http://www.reddit.com/r/polandball Polandball]] meme/comic series is very often shown drunk and/or with a bottle of hard liquor in hand.

[[/folder]]

[[folder: Western Animation ]]

* When [[TheSimpsons Springfield]] is a candidate to host the Olympics, The elementary school puts on a performance for the International Olympic Committee - including an ill-fated "patriotic" stand-up act from Bart:
--> ''Bart'': So, you're from Russia, huh?
--> ''Russian representative'': Da!
--> ''Bart'': You drunk yet?
--> ''Russian representative'': (sadly) Da.

[[/folder]]

[[folder: Real Life ]]

* Russians have absolutely no use for shot glasses. Vodka is commonly served "Sto gramm", which means "100 g" (which equals 0,1 l - that's a normal water-glass instead of a shot glass of 0,02 l). But they're not going literal and serve you a 0,25 l glass filled to the top as well. You're supposed to empty it like a normal shot, though.
* Boris Yeltsin. Especially in the later years of his presidency. At one point, while visiting Clinton in DC, Yeltsin turned up in his underwear on Pennsylvania Avenue, trying to hail cabs. During TheNineties, [[TheTonightShow Jay Leno]] always first referred to Yeltsin in the monologue as "Boris 'Buy Me A Drink' Yeltsin." At one time, his plane was flying to Ireland for a refueling stopover, and the Taoiseach ([[PrimeMinistersOfIreland Irish Prime Minister]]) was on hand to receive him. But instead of landing, the plane circled Shannon Airport and circled until it landed. But Yeltsin never made it off the plane, his doctor stating that the President was not feeling well. For a little while afterward, "circling over Shannon" became Irish slang for "trying desperately to sober up before an important event." This is referenced at one point in ''TheSimpsons'', where the highest possible reading on a breathalyzer's scale is "Boris Yeltsin". Among the other "achievements" of the Yeltsin administration were [[http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=R-z9wfueMAw his contributions to modern dance and music conducting.]]
* Peter the Great.
* They say that way back when Russia was looking to implement a state religion, the authorities liked a lot of what Islam had to say (and liked even more the lucrative trade contacts that would come with converting, to say nothing of the chance to cement an alliance with the Turks and knock the ByzantineEmpire out of its misery[[note]]The Rus' had always coveted Constantinople and led several futile assaults on the city before they converted to Christianity[[/note]]), but upon realizing that it meant giving up alcohol, the idea was dropped entirely--it was too much a mainstay of life even then.
* During the ColdWar, both major powers were looking for good TruthSerums to extract information from the enemy. The {{CIA}} looked into all kinds of mind-altering substances (including LSD) as part of [[GovernmentConspiracy Project MKULTRA]], and were embarrassed by the {{FBI}} when all these exotic chemicals failed but the Bureau got actionable intelligence on a mob heist by lacing a captured mafioso's cigarettes with THC. The {{KGB}}, on the other hand, decided to just use vodka: agents trying to extract intel would get into a {{drinking contest}} with the other guy, and since the Russian (by this trope) would have much higher tolerance, the the other guy would probably start [[InVinoVeritas leaking secrets]] long before the agent.
* During the latter half of Leonid Brezhnev's tenure as leader of the Soviet Union, alcohol abuse skyrocketed among the Soviet population, to the point where the average life expectancy of the Soviet population took quite a hit.
* Up until the early 2010s, beer was not classified as an alcoholic beverage in Russian law; that dignity was reserved for beverages with 14% abv (28 proof) or greater. Anything less--including pretty much all beer--was considered a mere "foodstuff".
* It's been said that Americans make a distinction between those who drink and those who don't; Russians make a distinction between those who drink ''vodka'' and those who don't. Those who drink [[GargleBlaster samogan]] (moonshine) are a separate category altogether. Good samogan clocks ''at least'' at 60% vol (120 proof), often 70% (140). The same status is reserved for medical antiseptic alcohol (96%, or 192 proof, mostly safe for consumption) or various surrogates of similar strength, many of which aren't so safe.
* It is probably no coincidence that Korsakoff's Syndrome was first described by and named after a Russian neurologist. While not actually caused by alcohol, it is often a side effect of alcoholism as alcohol provides the body with a lot of energy but virtually no nutrients at all and people who consume almost nothing but alcohol suffer from severe damage to the brain and nervous system from lack of vitamin B1. While it can be caused by other forms of malnutrition, this disease is what people are talking about when speaking of drinking your brain to death.
* Famous Russian composer Modest Mussorgsky had a drinking problem that is widely considered to have hindered his career and contributed to his early death.
* [[http://www.cracked.com/article_19008_the-7-most-unexpectedly-awesome-parties-in-history.html Upon hearing of the surrender of Nazi Germany, the Soviet Union partied so hard that the entire country ran out of vodka in ''less than a day'']]. The next day the '''[[UpToEleven ENTIRE COUNTRY]]''' was hungover and you would be lucky enough to buy a liter of vodka at the train station.
* Russian ''[[TankGoodness Tanks]]'' can run on vodka. As well as gasoline, and, really, anything liquid that burns, though not as good as on traditional diesel. For that matter, [[http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=NaaP7bQglcU so do the drivers]].
* Dmitri Mendeleev, discoverer of the Periodic Law and father of the Periodic Table of the Elements, wrote his dissertation in 1865, entitled, "On the Combinations of Water with Alcohol." This came in handy when, 28 years later, the Tsar put him in charge of the Bureau of Weights and Measures; one of of Mendeleev's first tasks was standardizing vodka, and he came out with a regulation that all vodka in Russia had to meet exacting standards of purity (having discovered the means of detecting impurities) and be 40% ethanol (a standard which not only persists today, but has spread around the world to be the standard strength of distilled liquor almost everywhere).
* How do they drink vodka in Northern countries? Sweden: With water. Finland: Without water. Russia: Like water.
** Oddly enough, "vodka" means "petty water" in Russian.
* In a subversion one Russian agent during WorldWarII was sent to get into a {{drinking contest}} with a Turkish dignitary. However pretty soon the Russian was babbling like an idiot and the Turk was gleefully recording everything; Turks, being brought up on the formidable Raki (nicknamed Lion's Milk), know how to handle drink.
** Raki, due to its high anis contents, will turn milk-like opaque emulsion when water added.
* Norwegian Prime Minister UsefulNotes/EinarGerhardsen once visited a Soviet Kolkhos (i.e. a "common farm"), and was served the traditional beverages. What the proprietor didn`t know, was that Gerhardsen never touched alcohol, and was served water. The local man-in-charge presumed it to be vodka, and entered a drinking contest with Gerhardsen. Every time Gerhardsen toasted, the proprietor did likewise, and drank with him. Over time the Russian started to get somewhat unstable, and had to excuse himself. Meanwhile, Gerhardsen continued in the same pattern with his glass of water, and got the reputation as an incredibly hard drinker, being able to drink an experienced Russian under the table. The Russian probably never learned the truth.
* The aforementioned superhero drinking tank brake fluid probably didn't need any superpowers to metabolize the stuff. Many technical fluids in the Soviet Army were indeed alcohol-based: the generals knew their men, were perfectly aware of the fact that they'll try to drink the fluids anyway and made sure no [[JackUpWithPhlebotinum unfortunate accidents]] will result from this.
* The Poles are also affected by this, [[MisplacedNationalism they always argue fiercely with the Russians over who's invented the Vodka/Wodka]], which usually ends in both of them drinking together until they both pass out(which requires an awful lot).
----
In America you consume vodka. In Russia, vodka consumes '''you'''.